Keeping student athletes hydrated

Photo credit: Beth Bence Reinke

Do your children play fall sports? Even in autumn, temperatures can climb to summer-like highs during afternoon practices and games. Good hydration throughout the day can help prevent heat-related illness and help kids be at their best on the field.

A great start is for kids to drink a glass of water as soon as they get up, then have milk or juice with breakfast. It’s challenging to get enough fluid throughout the school day, but by stopping at hallway water fountains between classes and drinking with lunch, it can be done. Packing water in a backpack or gym bag to swig before practice is a great idea, too.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends student athletes drink:

  • 4-8 oz. of water 1-2 hours before exercise
  • 4-8 oz. of water every 15 minutes during exercise
  • about 16 oz. after a practice or workout (teenagers may need more, depending on their body weight)

So encourage your kids to drink up. And remember to pack some water for yourself when you sit in the stands to watch their games. Have fun! :)

Blessings to you,
Beth Bence Reinke, MS, RD


Is it Time to Change Churches?

I’ve been a member of the same church most of my life. I attended there as a child and only took a brief hiatus when I moved to Minnesota for a couple of years. My family and I started back up at the same church again when we returned to Arizona. I have many reasons for staying at that church so long. A couple of the main ones are that I agree with their teaching and I love their unconditional love. But what do you do when things aren’t gong well in your church? How do you know when to leave and when to ride out the storm? While there are no hard and fast rules, these thoughts may help guide you. Consider moving on if:

  1. The leadership doesn’t encourage you to grow in your faith on your own. Symptoms of this may be that they don’t want you to read and study your Bible at home, but would rather you take their word on everything. Or perhaps they have power struggles and want to run the church their way, regardless of what the church body feels. Remember, good leaders model humility.
  2. You’ve tried to build relationships, but have been unsuccessful. If a congregation is closed to new people, it isn’t following Christ’s example or commands.
  3. Your children are unhappy in their classes. Now this can be a touchy one, because it takes time to feel comfortable in a new situation. But after a reasonable amount of time, if your kids are still miserable, you need to find a church where they’re more comfortable. You certainly don’t want to turn them off to church.
  4. There are issues of abuse, you should obviously leave if the abuser is still in the church. Unfortunately, this happens way too often these days.

Stick it out if:

  1. There are issues with your pastor and he’s willing to work on them. Most issues can be worked out. And even if the church decides to seek a new pastor, they need your support through this transition. If you’re still unhappy after the new pastor has had a chance to settle in, then you may want to consider a change. But in time, most issues blow over and  you’ll find you’re perfectly happy if you stay put.
  2. You don’t like the small group you’re in. Generally there are more than one to choose from and you can switch to one you like better.
  3. You believe most of what is taught, but disagree on some smaller issues. You may never find a church that believes exactly as you do. We all have different interpretations on the scriptures. But if you have more common ground than uncommon, it’s a good fit, assuming you feel comfortable in other areas as well.
  4. Your children are happy, making good friendships, and learning Bible truth. You only have a small window of time to influence your children for Christ. Personally, I would sacrifice my own happiness at a church if my kids are plugged in and growing in their faith. Most adults can find alternative ways to keep their faith alive and vital, such as personal study, small groups, home Bible studies, or even groups at other churches. However, it’s important you set the example of attending church together as well.

I like to think of my relationship with my church like I do my marriage. I am faithful to it, serve in it, and will remain in it even in hard times. It will take a serious infraction before I will sever that relationship. 

What issues would cause you to change churches? When have you stayed through hard times? What was the result?

‘Honesty’ is the best policy



Definition of Honesty – Honor; honorableness; dignity; propriety; suitableness; decency.

Clossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

Caleb and I were reading about Zacchaeus the other night. You know…the wee little man who climbed up in a sycamore tree to see Jesus. Well, he was not an Honest man.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector who took from people.  Money, that is.  Money that didn’t belong to him. Zacchaeus had no friends because he was stealing from people.  His heart was not good, and he needed Jesus to fix it.  Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree and he asked him to come down. Jesus wanted to be his friend.

Jesus knew all about Zacchaeus’ bad heart and he wanted to give him a clean heart. Zacchaeus was sorry for all the wrong things he had done and asked Jesus to forgive him. Zacchaeus got a new, clean heart and wanted to do the right thing in returning all the money to the people he stole from.  He felt different in a good way.  Zacchaeus felt like a new person!  All because Jesus loved him.

Jesus loves you too, and he can give you a clean heart if you confess your wrong-doing to him.

Zacchaeus didn’t have many friends because he didn’t tell the truth.  God wants us to always tell the truth and not be sneaky.

I tell Caleb every day – isn’t it nice to know that God’s mercies are new every morning!  God’s grace is sufficient enough for all of us.  How wonderful!

This would be a fun thing to do with your child after reading about Zacchaeus.

Get a coffee filter or paper towel, some bleach, and some dark food coloring.  Cut a heart shape from a coffee filter (or the paper towel).  Explain to the child that this heart is like our heart.  Put dark food coloring in a container.  Explain to the child that when we tell a lie we are sinning and it puts a spot on our heart.  Put small drops of the dark colored water on the paper.  Now explain that when our heart is full of wrong things we’ve done, Jesus is like this special water.  He can forgive us and make our heart clean again.  Now put a drop of bleach on the dark spots and watch them disappear!  I love this!  I hope you do as well.



Author of – I Love You to the Moon




God’s Word – Are our children learning it?

Who taught you the Scriptures? Chances are your parents and/or Sunday school teachers were your first Bible teachers. Beginning with the time the Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites, God charged us to teach his commandments to our children . (Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Not only does God charge us with this responsibility, he gives specific directions on when and how to do it – which in our time translates loosely to all day long and wherever you go.

How intentional are you at teaching your children (grandchildren, neighborhood children, children anywhere…) the Bible? How well do you know it yourself?

With all the unrest that is going on in our country (USA) and elsewhere in the world, the need to share God’s Word with our children has never been greater. We must never take for granted our present access to the Scriptures. If you have ever read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, you know how precious the passages were that Corrie and her sister had memorized once they were imprisoned in the Nazi prison camps. They also smuggled pages of Bibles into their crowded quarters when they could. Those words were hope and a lifeline to them in their bizarre circumstances.

Children need to hear Bible stories that will give them courage in the face of testing and temptations. There are several web sites that share Bible teaching ideas to use with children listed in the sidebar of my blog at Be encouraged to know that children can memorize Bible verses more easily than adults. Don’t be surprised if they beat you at this game if you too are just beginning to memorize them – they probably will.

Hundreds of Scriptures have been set to music. The combination of words and music makes them much easier to remember. Often my mind and/or mouth bursts forth with music as a verse relevant to my current situation comes to lift my spirits. A Google search for children’s Scripture songs will get you started.

Set the example. Let children see you reading the Bible in your own private time with God. Use Scriptures to explain why you make certain decisions in your life, and help your children to apply them to their own life situations.

Each generation gets one chance to pass the torch to the next – two if you count grandchildren. Don’t let your opportunities pass you by.

Photo credit: © Creativestock | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

What’s In a Name?

I have studied the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis on a number of different occasions, but this time, something new stuck out to me like never before. If you know the story of Joseph, you will know that he had a dream that he would be great. So great that his brothers and parents would bow down to him. His brothers didn’t like this dream or the fact that their father, Jacob, seemed to favor Joseph, so they sold him to slave traders headed for Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph became the slave of a prominent man, Potiphar, the captain of the palace guard. Joseph served his master faithfully, but when he didn’t respond to the repeated advances of Potiphar’s wife, she falsely accused him of attempted rape. This landed Joseph in prison. In prison, Joseph becomes a faithful prisoner – so faithful that he ends up in charge of the other prisoners and all that takes place there. Years later Joseph is called upon to interpret a dream for the Pharaoh. (This opportunity comes to him because Joseph had successfully interpreted the dream of Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer during his stint in jail.) Joseph’s interpretation is well-received by Pharaoh and his advisors, and Pharaoh decides to appoint Joseph as the head of a nationwide program that will prepare the land of Egypt for the terrible famine to come.

Pharaoh makes it clear that he is giving Joseph this position because he considers him the wisest man in all Egypt. But what blows me away is that Pharaoh also gives Joseph a new name, Zaphenath-paneah. The footnote in my Bible says that this name probably means “God speaks and lives.” In essence, Pharaoh is saying, “Because of you, Joseph, I know that God speaks and lives. Your life makes Him obvious to me.”

Wow! What an amazing statement, especially coming from someone outside of the Jewish faith at that time, and yet, this is exactly how God intended it to work! God’s desire is that our lives would reveal Him to those who may not know or ever have heard of Him.

Joseph had been a slave for about thirteen years, spending most of those in prison. We have all sorts of accounts of him being faithful; none of him complaining, whining or lamenting his situation. It’s not to say that he didn’t have rough days – of course he did! But he didn’t choose to stay in that place of self-pity. He didn’t allow anger over his circumstances to destroy himself and his witness. Instead, he chose to be faithful in spite of those circumstances. In doing so, he lived a life that got people’s attention. A life that caused them to believe that God speaks and lives. That is the kind of life that I want to live – one that makes God evident to those who may never have seen Him before. To do so requires being faithful whatever the circumstance. How many times in those thirteen years could Joseph have thrown in the towel and missed out on the awesome plans that God had for him? Too many times to count! Yet through his faithfulness, he received great blessing, but more importantly, became a blessing to others.

Joseph’s new name is a reminder that our lives have the power to show people that God is real. That He is alive and speaking. The only question is: Are we up to the challenge?